This Thursday evening from 6 to 8 pm, VCS alumna Savanna Barrett will unveil The Dark Flowers, a solo exhibition of new works at The Highline Loft in the West Chelsea Arts Building that will be on display until September 30th. I’ve presented the text of the show’s press release below; it describes Savanna’s work in detail and provides RSVP information for the reception.
Savanna Barrett: The Dark Flowers
September 25, 2014, 6pm–8pm
The Highline Loft
508 W. 26th Street, Fifth Floor, New York City
Savanna Barrett: The Dark Flowers, an exhibition of new paintings, opens at The Highline Loft, West Chelsea Arts Building this Thursday, September 25, 2014 from 6pm–8pm.
Informed by Barrett’s studies and reflections over a six year period in Europe, Asia, and the United States, the exhibition includes twenty new medium and large-format paintings often depicting abstract landscapes formed by intricately layered oil paint treated like clay. “The history of figure painting has generally been a story of the body, the nude, the portrait. The history of landscape painting has been one of the disappearance of the figure and erasing the presence of indigenous dwelling. In my work, I attempt to bring the trace of the figure into landscape, yet in a striking and visceral way,” said Barrett.
Barrett’s technique is an experimental process. “Oil paint has the characteristics of human skin, lending itself to be layered, scratched, and peeled. The wet undermost layer, the more viscous layer in the middle that’s semi-dry, and the outermost layer, which is dry to the touch but malleable. It can be wrinkled, crumpled, scraped into shapes that are three dimensional, ripped to reveal the colors underneath, and even massaged into a texture that looks like elephant hide. These attributes lend themselves to create new meaning during the process.”
In less than two years, Barrett has completed over twenty canvases including Mentor, Mentor II and Mentor III, Mothers’ Toll, and Those Who Roamed the Earth. In 2013, Mentor was selected from over 700 entries by the University of St. Gallen (HSG) in Switzerland, and exhibited as part of their contemporary art collection.
Mentor, a large scale 8’ x 10’ painting, represents not only a reflection of classical oil painting lighting technique, but also combines elements of abstraction into transcendent humanistic themes. “The painting is of a Cairn, a man-made stack of stones, reflecting on the human desire to leave evidence in their environment, just as my work documents the traces of its own evolution.”
From Bozeman, Montana and part of a family of artists, Barrett went on to study at Seattle Pacific University where she trained as a concert violinist, Palazzo Rucellai in Florence, Italy, and the Visual & Critical Studies Program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. While studying in Italy, as a way to finance her art, she began modeling and worked with Valentino, Gucci, and Giambattista Valli, among other fashion companies.
The exhibition is presented at The Highline Loft, courtesy of Gloria Naftali, who remarked, “Savanna’s work has developed to the stage where it clearly needs more visibility and careful placement.”
The exhibition is organized by Christopher Romero, a noted Creative Director and Filmmaker. “Savanna’s work reinterprets what was once lost into newly found objects and representation. It immediately touches people with its combined subtlety and urgency.”
The exhibition will be open to the public from September 26-30 from 10am–4pm.
Press Inquiries, Lyn Winter, email@example.com or 213-446-0788
For more about the aforementioned painting Mentor, which is in the permanent collection of the University of St. Gallen (HSG) in Switzerland, visit this post from late last year.